This country had the chance to avoid the disastrous meltdown of 2008 and following, the one that has led to the nationalization of industries, the creation of oceans of paper money, and the destruction of so many American dreams. The answer that might have been is the one you hold in your hands: the minority report of the US Gold Commission of 1982, written by Ron Paul and signed by Lewis E. Lehrman. It provides an outstanding history, wonderful theoretical analytics, and a proposal for the return of sound money, which is gold.
Alas, it was the minority report and therefore killed by political forces. Of course, the fix was in from the beginning. The commission only came to exist in the first place as payoff to certain "goldbugs" in the Republican Party in those years. Ronald Reagan was one of them. So his influence was part of the reason the Commission was created. But it wasn't created to institute a gold standard. It was created to bury the idea once and for all.